A conductor was attacked by a youth while trying to help a disabled passenger off a train.

The shocking attack happened on the platform while the staff member was placing a ramp on to the train.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said it is working with British Transport Police to reduce assaults and antisocial behaviour in crime “hot spots along the coast such as Worthing”.

The Argus understands the attack, which happened on Thursday afternoon, is believed to be linked with the spate of violence from youths at businesses and on trains between Worthing and Hove.

One man who has come face to face with the crime spree and first flagged the issue to this paper in July last year said the town has become lawless.

He said: “Nothing surprises me now. We had some peace for a while following the articles but it is happening again. It is shocking that nothing is being done.

“What we have allowed is a gradual disintegration at a lower level. We are failing our kids.

"We harm them by not putting them into the criminal justice system but it needs to be re-thought so there are not long-term repercussions for lower level crime. They go into psychological freefall.

“It was a beautiful family orientated town, it is now a melting pot of contempt and lawlessness.”

No arrests have been made following the assault.

The Argus revealed last summer how youths were using the Worthing line and targeting nearby shops with "military precision", jumping off trains and heading to businesses to carry out crimes.

It ranged from stealing food, to crates of cider, cigarettes and an arson attack in a platform cafe at Worthing Station in the early hours of June 13 last year.

Sam Facey, GTR’s safety, health and security director, said: "We can confirm that one of our conductors was assaulted at Worthing on Thursday afternoon, September 14, by one of two youths.

“The conductor was working with a station colleague to place a ramp on to the train for a disabled customer. An ambulance attended, as did British Transport Police who are investigating. 

 "This is a shocking incident. Our staff have the right to work in safety and we will help the police in every way we can. 

 "We work very closely with British Transport Police and together we have a drive to reduce assaults and antisocial behaviour, in particular at hot spots along the coast such as Worthing." 

GTR said it is rolling out body-worn cameras for staff and has just entered a policing collaborative agreement with BTP, who have a new neighbourhood policing team focusing on antisocial behaviour along the coast.

Map of youth crime between Brighton and Worthing

A spokeswoman for BTP said: “Officers were called to Worthing Station yesterday, September 14, at around 1.30pm following reports of an assault on a member of rail staff.

“We attended along with colleagues from the South East Coast Ambulance Service and the staff member was assessed by medics at the scene.

“Officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40  quoting reference 311 of September 14.

“Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”